Boys track and field: All-County team

The numbers flashing in front of Will Riley a split second after he crossed the finish line weren’t to his liking.

Covering 100 meters in 10.88 seconds might as well have been 10.88 minutes. Or hours. Or days.

“I just knew I could do better,” said Riley, the Greenwood junior who navigated the rain-soaked main straightaway at Indiana University’s Robert C. Haugh Stadium, site of the boys state meet, on his way to a fourth-place finish.

“I was really mad.”

In time, Riley is likely going to extract only positives from this track and field season. He did, after all, go on to finish second at state in the 200-meter dash, earning him a third walk to the awards podium in his high school career.

Not surprisingly, he is the Daily Journal’s Athlete of the Year in boys track and field.

“Overall, I’m happy with this season,” said Riley, who lowered his own school standards in both the 100 (10.50) and 200 (21.69) during the Greenfield-Central Regional. “I brought PRs down, and across a lot of events the team did really well. This year, seeing what the team could do really made me happy.”

Growing up, Riley was the little kid always winning the races against classmates during recess. By the time he was a freshman, he had qualified for regional in the 100, and then he got everyone’s attention last spring by ascending to the point where he finished third at state.

This time around, he was even faster.

“I just like to race against the clock, honestly. I try to stay as consistent as possible,” Riley said. “I’m happy to see I’m finally able to be a 100 and 200 runner instead of just the 100.”

Following the 100-meter final at state, Riley had plenty of time to fret over what he deemed a subpar performance before taking part in the 200 final.

“You could just tell when he came out of the blocks, he was angry,” Greenwood coach Blaine Williams said. “It’s been really awesome to see how he’s improved from year to year.

“We’re at the point now that everyone knows who he is, and Will has handled it really well. He is just a sociable kid. Everyone likes him. He’s the same Will he was as a freshman.”

Only much more accomplished.

With his senior high school track season remaining, Riley’s goal is simple — be a state champion in both of his specialties. He knows he has work to do before possibly achieving that dream.

“I need to work on my endurance. Meets like sectional, regional and state, running preliminaries too, that just kills my legs,” Riley said. “I would like to get a lot stronger, for sure.

“I think I can win both events next year, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”


The 2024 All-County team for boys track and field:

Jackson Hartwell, Edinburgh junior: Continued to improve upon his own school record in the long jump, soaring a best of 22 feet, 6 1/4 inches to win the regional … County and Mid-Hoosier Conference champ … 21st at state meet.

Brevin Holubar, Center Grove junior: Won sectional in 400-meter dash (49.14 seconds) and was fourth at regional (49.48) … Ran second leg of Trojans’ 4×400 relay team, which placed fourth at state meet in 4:17.70.

Dallas Johnson, Center Grove junior: Placed first in 110-meter hurdles at sectional in time of 14.63 seconds … Was also regional champion in 14.25 … Made finals at state meet before getting injured.

Kyle Montgomery. Center Grove senior: Ran time of 4:20.62 in winning 1,600-meter run at sectional … second at regional (4:17.91) and sixth at state meet (4:16.65) … Was 3,200 runner-up at sectional (9:31.76) and seventh at regional.

Carter Pheifer, Center Grove senior: Placed fifth at state meet in pole vault, clearing 15 feet, 3 inches … Finished first at both the sectional (14-0) and regional (14-6) meets.

Will Riley, Greenwood junior: Won 100- and 200-meter dashes at county, conference, sectional and regional meets … Lowered his own school records at regional, going 10.50 in the 100 and 21.69 in the 200 … fourth in 100 and runner-up in 200 at state … anchored state-qualifying 4×100 relay.

Gavin Rockwell, Center Grove senior: State qualifier in 3,200-meter run, finishing 13th in 9:19.99 … Won event at sectional (9:26.78) and regional (9:18.30) … Part of 4×800 relay that was second at sectional and fourth at regional … Owns school standard in 3,200, running 9:11.50 at the Carmel Distance Showcase.

Daxon Sauer, Center Grove junior: Sectional runner-up in 100- and 200-meter dashes … Second at regional in 100 and third in 200 … Member of 4×100 relay that won sectional and regional and was runner-up at state meet.

J.D. Sever, Franklin senior: First in 300-meter hurdles at sectional (38.53) and regional (38.32) … Second in 110 hurdles at sectional (15.01) and third at regional (14.86) … State qualifier in both events and winner of the Mental Attitude Award.

Ben Tapak, Center Grove junior: Fourth at sectional in 110-meter hurdles (15.48) and second at regional (38.67) … Part of 4×100 relay that won regional and was second at state meet, as well as the sectional champion 4×400 relay.

Benian Walls, Whiteland senior: Sectional champion in long jump with top distance of 21-6 1/4 and seventh at regional (22-0 1/2) … Medaled at state meet by finishing sixth with jump of 21-11 3/4.

Honorable mention

Jeremiah Carter, Greenwood; Peyton Coffey, Center Grove; Trey Dobson, GCA; Nolan Edens, Whiteland; Liam Fennig, Franklin; Braxton Freeman, Indian Creek; Sam Grimes, Greenwood; Austin Hennessy, Center Grove; Logan Jackson, Indian Creek; Alex Leugers, Franklin; Hayden Luttman, Whiteland; Levi Jones, Center Grove; Amare Middleton, Greenwood; Jackson Neibert, Indian Creek; Brett Odgers, Greenwood; Gunner Ruppert, Greenwood; Carson Sommers, Franklin: Mason Vrshek, Center Grove; Matthew Wray, Whiteland